Less than two weeks after they opened, the new Penzer park washrooms in Langley City were trashed.
Because of the vandalism, the City has been forced to shut the facility down while repairs costing thousands of dollars are carried out, said Troy Wilson, acting manager of park operations for the City.
He called it “nuisance vandalism,” but said it isn’t cheap to fix.
In early December, a tiled wall behind the water fountain was damaged, and that will cost about $1,500 to repair, he said.
As well, paint on the doors was scratched and graffiti applied to other surfaces, bringing the total bill for repairs to between $2,500 and $3,000.
“We encounter all kinds of significant vandalism all year, but not to the level of this,” said Wilson.
It isn’t the worst he’s seen, however.
When someone tried to set the washrooms on fire in a nearby Buckley Park they did $7,000 to $10,000 worth of damage.
Other targets have included Linwood Park and the baseball concession in City Park, where someone smashed the toilets and urinals to pieces.
Wilson said the City usually opts to repair the damage rather than report it to the police.
Construction of the washroom was moved up because of the unexpected demand resulting from the success of of the new Penzer Action Park, the largest outdoor Parkour facility in Canada.
In 2017, the park at 198C Street and 47A Avenue underwent a $1.3 million re-do, with $500,000 coming from the federal government and $800,000 from the City.
About 80 per cent of the park was redone.
The only part that remained untouched was the bike skills park, which was overhauled in 2015.
The washroom cost $365,000, which included constructing the water and sewer connections and fully grounding the facility under the BC Hydro electrical towers that run through the park.